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    Description

    PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE TEXAS COLLECTOR

    JAMES H. CAFFERTY (American, 1819-1869)

    Portrait of Robert Fulton, 1852
    Oil on panel
    23 x 19-1/4 inches (58.4 x 48.9 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: J.H. Cafferty 1852

    PROVENANCE:
    J.T. Ferguson, New York;
    Eugene and Marianne Shannon, New Haven, CT;
    D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc., New York (label verso).

    James Henry Cafferty (1819-1869) is best known for his portraits of prominent New Yorkers in the mid-nineteenth century. Recognized as a successful artist in his day, Cafferty was a member of both the American National Academy and the National Academy of Design. His portraits express the inner personality of his sitters through the deliberate inclusion of revealing personal objects. In this portrait of Robert Fulton, Cafferty has specifically included the iconography of Fulton's profession. Fulton sits at his desk writing, and beneath the letter he composes we see a sketch of mechanical gears. On the table beside him is a brass model of the pulley and lever system Fulton designed for moving boats through canal systems.

    Born to Irish immigrant parents, Robert Fulton (1765-1815) was an American inventor and mechanical engineer. His work resulted in advancements to shipping canal systems, modern aqueducts, milling technology, dredging equipment, submersibles, and torpedoes. In 1809, Fulton patented his improved design of a steam engine and is credited with the first practical marine steam engine design. Fulton's basic steam engine was used in contemporary passenger ferries that revolutionized American travel, as well as the transportation of goods, in the early nineteenth century. This notable portrait incorporates a wonderful expression of the internal man, as well as capturing his distinct likeness.




    Condition Report*: Very good condition:  tiny paint chip in red cloth, lower left quadrant; visible cracking throughout left side of sitter's jacket, lower right quadrant; faint overall craquelure commensurate with age; three minor areas of inpainting ranging from 1/4" to 1" long in background of upper right quadrant; 1"-long strip of inpainting on figure's left hand.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    10th-11th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,646

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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